A RECENT PEW RESEARCH poll shows American attitudes about Islam trending toward accepting the narrative that organizations like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) are peddling. This narrative includes the propositions that Islam is and historically has been a religion of peace and that Muslims are the victims of a great deal of discrimination in this country.
Not coincidentally, this faulty narrative is being peddled in many of our public schools. Small wonder more and more Americans are falling for it. Several months ago the ACT! for America Mission Viejo (CA) chapter completed an eye-opening report about the disinformation and outright propaganda showing up in US public school curricula and textbooks that deal with Islam. The Scenewash Project has reported frequently on this topic, but our opinions pale in comparison to the Orwellian "newspeak" that has recently been handed down by California's education establishment with respect to teaching Islamic studies. For instance, as reported in the Investors Business Daily editorial below:
...the suggested framework glorifies Shariah as a liberal reform movement that "rejected" the mistreatment of women that existed in Arabia before Muhammad and his successors conquered the region, according to Accuracy in Academia. The guidelines claim that Islamic law established for the first time that men and women were entitled to equal "respect."
This astonishing example of historical revisionism is just one more reason why we communicate such a sense of urgency to you about the rapid advance of radical Islam and creeping shariah here in the United States. Our window to build the organized resistance to defeat this is not twenty or thirty years longit is more like five to ten at best.
Over the past two decades college campuses have become hotbeds for pro-Islamist, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and anti-American indoctrination. This has now made its way into our public high schools and middle schools.
If an entire generation of American students are successfully indoctrinated with lies, such as that shariah Islamic law established that men and women were entitled to equal respect, the chances that we can successfully roll back the rising tide of radical Islam dim immensely.
As Adolf Hitler is reported to have said to the adults in Germany, "I care not what you think...I have the children."
Recently, Fox News reported that the head of CIEnow known as the Institute on Religion and Civic Valuesmisled California education authorities about his academic credentials. For one, Shabbir Mansuri never received a USC degree in chemical engineering as he has claimed, Fox says.
The group's Web site no longer includes the claim. These are the folks who are teaching your children about Islam in public schools. Parents have protested, even sued, but to no avail.
For example, parents of seventh-graders in the San Francisco area, who after 9/11 were taught pro-Islamic lessons as part of California's world history curriculum, sued under the First Amendment ban on religious establishment. They argued, reasonably, that the government was promoting Islam by mandating that their kids participate in Muslim role-playing exercises such as designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks.
Children also were told to recite aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful," and memorize the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God, and Muhammad is his messenger."
But a federal judge appointed by President Clinton told parents in so many words to get over it, that the state was merely teaching kids about another "culture."
California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision, ruling that it was OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises. The decision was a major victory for the multiculturalists and Islamic apologists in California and across the country who've never met a culture or religion they didn't likewith the exception of Western civilization and Christianity.
You can't teach the Ten Commandments in public schools. But teaching the five pillars of Islam is A-OK.
POLAND stands as the Eternal Watchman busking for Western Civilization with regards to the Islamic invasion. We present this excerpt from Takuan Selvo in The Brussels Journal.
"Europe has another bugler, on its eastern flank. Poland. And were the soul and brains of the Western peoples less contaminated by their own elites, this is all the discussion about Islam and all the self-defense from Islam that the West would need. Every hour, on the hour, a bugler climbs to the steeple of the Church of St. Mary in Krakow, and plays the dirge. The dirge is cut off abruptly mid-note. This commemorates a mid-13th century bugler who saved Krakow from being overrun by Muslim Tatar hordes from the Asian steppes.
Standing high in the tower of the grand church, the bugler saw a large force of Tatar invaders approaching on horseback toward the royal city, and gave the alert to close the gates. In the middle, a Tatar arrow pierced his throat.
Once a day, at noon, this dirge, cut off as though by a Mohammedan’s arrow, is transmitted by Polish radio throughout the country. The radio transmission has been going on daily since 1927, but the dirge has been heard in Krakow daily since at least 1399, with only a half-century pause in the late 18th century. This is how a European people remembers the meaning of Islam.
G.K. Chesterton, who admired Poland as the staunch eastern bulwark of the Christian West, said that the “St. Mary’s dirge” was for him the call of a besieged civilization. And so it is.
The Poles are one European people who have remembered the meaning of Islam. All the others seem to have forgotten.
Timothy R. Furnish, the author of Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, their Jihads and Osama bin Laden (Praeger, 2005), teaches history at Georgia Perimeter College in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody, GA. He was interviewed by email by Rick Shenkman, the editor of HNN.
I was surprised to learn that before you were a historian you served in the military. What's your military background?
4 1/2 years enlisted in Army Intelligence (Arabic linguist/interrogator), following college (it paid off my student loans) in the mid-80s. In the late-90s I was commissioned as a chaplain candidate in the Army while I was doing my doctorate at Ohio State, since I had also obtained an M.A. from Concordia Seminary. But when it came to finishing my dissertation or doing chaplaincy full-time, I opted for the former and in fact I was just discharged as an O-3 (Captain) a few months ago.
Has your military experience shaped the way you do history?
Probably not all that much, other than determining my specialization.
How did you decide to choose Islamic history?
Well, partly out of interest and partly out of utilitarian motives. Having joined the Army in 1983 hoping to learn Russian, I knew little of Islam or the Middle East when I wound up in Arabic training at the Defense Language Institute. But it sparked my interest in that religion and region, and when my enlistment was up I decided to go into graduate school in Islamic history, since I already had the primary research language under my belt.
Has 9/11 affected your scholarly work? That is, has it caused you to change the focus of your studies?
Not all that much. I was already working on Mahdism and the nexus between it and Islamic fundamentalism, and in all honesty 9/11 was not a big surprise to me.
Do you find that Americans have serious misperceptions about Islamic history?
One big one in particular: that the Islamic world has always been a victim at the hands of the West. I find this particularly prominent among the intelligentsia in the country, whose knowledge of Islamic/Middle Eastern history goes back, at best, to the early 20th c. Very few, in my experience, know of the imperial reach and power of, say, the Abbasids, Fatimids, Mughals or even Ottomans.
Conservatives like David Horowitz claim that Middle East Studies programs in the United States are dominated by anti-Israel liberals. Do you agree?
Liberals, yes; but anti-Israel ones, not necessarily. I do think that the field can be defined, largely, in terms of Saidians (devotees of Edward Said's "Orientalism" thesis, which sees the Arab world as victim of the West) and Lewisians (devotees of Bernard Lewis, who disagree). I fall into the latter camp. As mentioned earlier, I think the tendency (sometimes, insistence) to see the Arab, or even the entire Muslim, world as victimized by the West is rampant in the field, and insofar as Israel is seen as, if you will, the "tip of the spear," many academics dislike Israel.
Why did you write your book, Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden? And please tell us what a Mahdi is.
"al-Mahdi" is "the rightly-guided one" who, according to Islamic hadiths (traditions), will come before the End of Time to make the entire world Muslim (with a little help from the returned prophet Jesus). I did my doctoral dissertation on Mahdist movements throughout history and that book is the expansion thereof. I was asked to write the book by Greenwood/Praeger after an article I'd published, not long after 9/11, speculating on whether Usama bin Ladin might attempt to claim the Mahdiyah for himself.
It's hard to write about Islamic history without getting caught up in current controversies, I would think. Have you found it difficult to maintain proper historical perspective in your work?
Sometimes. Any discussion of Islam and the violence done in its name today is fraught with danger (so far, only rhetorical). If I had any hair left, I'd pull it out with frustration over the extremists of both the Left and Right who see only the aspects of Islam which they wish to: the former just parrot, over and over, "Islam is a religion of peace" without, it seems, ever having bothered to read the Qur'an or study Islamic history; the latter, on the other hand, fall off the horse on the other side and emphasize nothing but the undeniably real violent strain in Islam, but never seem to notice (or admit) that moderate Islam (Sufism) and moderate Islamic states (the Ottoman Empire) can exist. However, at this juncture in history, I do think that the Left's denial of the undeniably violent, albeit minority, strain of Islam is the greater threat.
If you had five minutes with President Bush what would you tell him he needs to remember about Islamic history?
That the Muslim proponents of moderate Islam as a "religion of peace" will not gain the upper hand until the Islamic world undergoes its own "enlightenment" and, like the predominantly-Christian West, officially abandons its dream of a one world religious state. Admittedly, this took Western civilization centuries to do, and it had one major advantage the Islamic world does not: the tradition, going back to Jesus himself, of separation of church and state ("give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's," Matthew 22:21).
Islam has been, almost since its inception, as much a political as a religious movement. And a military one. Islam will have to be reconfigured such that it can co-exist in minority status without having to seize the reins of power. That will be difficult to do, and it will have to be done primarily by Muslims themselves, but quite frankly the global community cannot allow one belief system to demand obeisance from the others. We in the West can, and should, help moderate Islam to win out over the jihadists, but in the final analysis Muslims themselves must do the heavy lifting there.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MODERATE ISLAM? Does it really exist? If so, then where is it? Is it rooted in true Islam or just the wishful thinking of idiot swooners, or is it a sophisticated well-entrenched lie which defies reality? For those just now arriving at the question of what Islam means perhaps we should ask ourselves if those who have inspired you, whether it be a friend, a relative, a co-worker, perhaps even a stranger you have just met are practicing what they preach or are they conducting themselves in a far more sinister manner.
"Islam is a Religion of Peace" "Muhammad is a man of Peace" "The Qur'an is a book of Peace"
How can we know if these statements are true? We frequently hear from politicians in the public sphere and individual Muslims and Islamic organisations, that Islam is "a religion of peace", that it is "tolerant of other faiths and beliefs" and that it is "in favour of democracy, equal rights and freedom of speech." The media reports the connection between certain Islamic groups and violence, terrorism, and inequality for women. But it also claims that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving, law-abiding and that there is nothing in Islam that is against the values of British society.
In public debate and media language, the distinction has emerged between "radical' and "moderate' Islam. Adherents of the former are called "fundamentalist' and "Islamist', while the latter, the moderates, are said to represent mainstream, true Islam. How can we begin to understand these distinctions and how do we know how many British Muslims are represented in each of them? A 2001 survey revealed how Muslims in Britain viewed themselves:
15% said they were radical in that they followed a literal understanding of the Qur'an and the example of Muhammad. 70% described themselves as nominalthat is, they followed Islamic traditions and their cultural adaptations. 15% saw themselves as liberalthey were happy to follow the West and assimilate fully into British culture. But seven years can be a long time in warfare notation, so what is the situation today? The Sunday Telegraph on 19 February 2006 carried a "YouGov" survey report that revealed: Forty percent of British Muslims identified with Islamic radicalism.
Nhis was post 7/7, and, for whatever reason, shows that radicalism is on the increase in Britain. It may be that new immigrants are swelling the numbers of radical Islam, but it is certainly true that many British Muslims are being won over to a more Islamist position. It is reasonable to conclude that between 2001 and 2006 converts to the "radical cause' came from the group previously identified as nominal. Liberal Muslims are perhaps less inclined towards radicalism, as they have, for all intents and purposes, broken with all traditional forms of Islam. If this is the case, then it shows that today, as in the past, moderate Muslims find it hard to withstand pressure from those who are intent on a more literal approach to Islam.
To grapple with these issues it is necessary to understand the Qur'an's teaching and the practice of Muhammad in relation to a number of issues of concern to those who wish to uphold Western British society: jihad, democracy, freedom of religion and speech, the equality of women, and sharia.
The assertion that Islam is a "religion of peace' draws us, in particular, to the teaching of Islam on violent jihad. It is said by many Muslim apologists that the word "Islam' itself means "peace'. However, it is widely accepted that this is misreading of the Arabic word, and that "Islam' means "surrender'. If there is any connection with "peace' here, it is that "peace' which comes from total surrender and slave-like servitude to an absolute deity as expressed in the Qur'an and Islamic traditions. The peace of Islam, therefore, is the peace and protection afforded to those who convert to Islam or in the case of Jews and Christians, those who accept a humiliating, second-class status in an Islamic society known as Dhimmitude.
According to former professor of Islamic History at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Mark Gabriel, "There are at least 114 verses in the Qur'an that speak of love, peace and forgiveness, especially in the Surah titled "The Heifer'"(Surah 2:62, 109).' But Gabriel goes on to explain that in the light of the later verse found in Surah 9:5 (the "sword verse'), these former "tolerant' verses have been abrogated or annulled. This is according to the Islamic teaching of naskh in which the later revelations of the Qur'an cancelled out the former verses wherever there is a contradiction. (Islam and Terrorism by Mark Gabriel)
It is commonly understood that the earlier Meccan Surahs are more tolerant, corresponding to the earlier phase of Muhammad's life when his teaching focussed mainly on purely religious issues such as belief in one God and the rejection of pagan idolatry. He hoped to persuade Jews to accept him as the prophet of monotheism in line with the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament, and for the Christians to accept him as the apostle of God, somewhat analogous to the apostles of the New Testament.
However, there was resistance from both groups who clearly saw that Muhammad's teaching was at odds in major respects with the Scriptures as they knew and understood themnot least, the final and absolute authority Muhammad claimed for himself. The Medinan Surahs become more and more strident, imposing social, political and military imperatives on the Muslim community, until finally, the Qur'an became replete with teaching of hate, destruction, death and servitude to all who resisted Islam, either on the battlefield or in their personal faith. A well-respected authority on Islam, himself a radical, Sheikh Muhammad Ezzat Darwazei, counts between 500 and 700 jihad verses in the Qur'an. It is important to remember that these "sword verses' abrogate earlier verses apparently advocating peace and tolerance. The nature of this violent teaching can be seen by the following sample:
The Medinan sword verse:
Surah 9:5 " But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay those who join other gods with Allah wherever you find them; besiege them, seize them, lay in wait for them with every kind of ambush..."
Sword verse against Christians and Jews:
Surah 9:29 "...Make war upon such of those to whom the scriptures have been given as believe not in Allah, or in the last day, and who forbid not what Allah and his apostle have forbidden ... until they pay tribute..."
Methodology of sword verses:
Surah 47:4 " When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them..."
"Unbelievers ... And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail Justice and faith in Allah."
Recompense for those who die in Jihad:
Surah 4:74 "Let those who fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the hereafter To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah, whether he is slain or gets victory, Soon shall we give him a reward of great value."
Surah 47:4-6 "...But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost... and admit them to Paradise."
The life of Muhammad is sacred to Muslims who are expected to follow his example in all things. An examination of Muhammad himself shows that not only did he believe in violence but personally practiced it. During his life Muhammad sanctioned 29 actual battles and planned 39 others. He also sanctioned deaths of Jews, Christians and those who criticised or opposed him.
When one reads such Quranic advocacy of violence and death to pagans, Christians and Jews, and the offer of spiritual reward to those who carry such things out, one understands the strength of the radicals who only need to appeal to such texts, as well as the example of Muhammad himself, to pursue and impose "true Islam'.
No compulsion in religion?
What are we to make of the violent teaching found in the Qur'an in the light of the oft-quoted Surah 2:256, "There is no compulsion in religion'?< As has been mentioned, we must ask whether this verse is considered mansukh (abrogated). But, even if that is denied by some Muslim apologists, the context of the verse shows that it does not promise freedom to non-Muslims, but only a measure of tolerance for a time. The following verse reads, "Allah is the Protector of those who have faith" and begs the question concerning how to treat those who reject Allah. Since they don't have Allah's protection, it is argued that these unbelievers do not deserve protection from Islam.
Does moderate Islam exist?
This question does not address the individual Muslim, as it is patently clear that many Muslims do not wish to acknowledge openly or to follow these "sword texts' and that many Muslims in Britain, and across the world, are peaceful and law-abiding. But the issue is: does a correct understanding of the Qur'an and the example of Muhammad as we know it ultimately require that all Muslims believe and support such teaching?
Responses to "sword' passages
When individual Muslims are questioned about the "violence' in the teaching of the Qur'an and in the example of Muhammad himself they usually respond in one of the following ways: Affirmation: As we have seen, we could expect 40% of British Muslims to affirm all or some Quranic teaching on violence. Denial: Some out of ignorance, wishful thinking, or deceit, deny that these verses are actually in the Qur'an.
Interpretation: Some teach that these verses were historical, situational and geographical, only applying to 7th century Arabia and proximate nations.
The key question is: What is the basis for a moderate interpretation of these verses advocating and commanding violence against non-Muslims?
Some deny that the "sword verses' ever had any place in historic, mainstream Islam, and that centuries of Islamic tradition and authoritative teaching proves that this is the case. They claim that Western ignorance and prejudice perpetuates misinterpretation of these texts. But, these same people do not seem to be able to provide any convincing evidence of this "vast body of Muslim opinion' within mainstream and historic Islamic tradition.
Some seek to reform Islam from within, trying to find a more acceptable and modern approach to it in keeping with Western ideals of freedom and tolerance. But the difficulty here is one of authority. Who has the authority to reject Quranic texts or reinterpret them? Surely to do so would be to deny the very basis of Islam and thus be a denial of Islam itself.
Moderate Islam and Sufism
Sufism is often cited as an example of moderate Islam. Sufism is characterised by "inner piety' and, as "a religion of the heart', is said not to advocate violence or political extremism. However, while it is true that Sufis draw their beliefs and inspiration from Mohammad himself, Sufi mysticism, with its quest for union with the divine, is regarded by its critics either as fundamentally un-Islamic or a sectarian departure from the purity of Islam. This is borne out by the fact that Sufis only officially comprise 3-4% of modern day Islam, although it is claimed that their influence is considerable both among Sunnis and Shi'ites.
Ruth Kelly recently gave support to the moderation of Sufism when she rejected the hitherto welcome role of the Muslim Council of Britain as the official voice of Islam in Britain. She was the main speaker at the launch of the Sufi Muslim Council in the House of Commons on 19th July 2006. But the problem is that Sufis do not and cannot speak for Islam in general. It is more influential as a religious tendency within Islam than it is as an official representative of Islam itself.
The Sufi Muslim Council claims that 80% of British Muslims are from a Sufi tradition. That claim is hard to reconcile with the YouGov findings that 40% of British Muslims are sympathetic to Islamist ideals. The contradiction can be resolved in one of two ways. First, Sufism is not, in the final analysis, capable of asserting its "moderation' on the rest of Islam. Or, second, Sufism is not essentially moderate after all. The history of Sufi groups, such as of Naqshbandi, Qadiri and Sanusyia, reveals clear signs of a lack of moderation.
The future of "moderate Islam'
The problem with finding and promoting moderation within Islam is that the most "natural' reading of Islamic texts, as well as much influential historical interpretation of these, provides fuel for the radicals. Considerable fear is generated by the radicals who threaten many would-be moderates with the charge of apostasy and its harsh consequences which, very often, means death. Muslim solidarity, a strong force in its own right, is exploited by radicals who point to social injustice, the plight of the Palestinians, racism and the cultural estrangement of Muslims, in a bid to radicalise their fellow Muslims. This is how British Muslim youth are being successfully recruited to Islamism in colleges and universities, as a former radical, Ed Husain shows in his autobiography The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left.
Perhaps the real issue in all this is not discussion about "moderate' or "radical' Muslims, but the nature of Islam itself. Until this is explored and addressed, it seems the situation is not set to improve. That there are many moderate Muslims, there can be no doubt, but as to the existence of historical, mainstream moderate Islamwhere's the evidence?
Sam SolomonThe Mosque ExposedPilcrow Press is specialized in literature that will educate and inform you of the issues we are facing in this day and age regarding Islamic threats to our nations.
Sam Solomon, a former Muslim and professor of Sharia Law, in particular the study related to the confrontation between Islamic and Western cultures, and the theological convictions at the root of this conflict. Sam Solomon is Director of Fellowship of Faith for Muslims and author of the Charter of Muslim Understanding and The Mosque Exposed.
Solomon is a unique man. He was raised as a Muslim, trained in Sharia law for 15 years, and after reading the New Testament became a Christian. He was imprisoned, questioned, and was to be put to death when the decision instead came to exile him on pain of death. One of the leading experts on Islam and Sharia law in the western world now, Mr. Solomon has testified before congress and is a consultant to the British parliament for matters regarding Islam.
A CHURCH IN BELGIUM is on the hot seat now, thanks to a photograph snapped two years ago by a blogger, a photograph of an interesting pulpit in the Church of Our Lady in Dendermonde, Belgium, that suddenly became the center of an uproar when a group Turkish Belgians "discovered" it online, and proceeded to follow the well-worn Islamic path of instant outrage.
The Belgian press has reported that police are now guarding the church to prevent vandalism, but also placed blame for this controversy squarely on the original blogger who placed he photograph on his blog. Here's a run-down:
Church sits largely unnoticed for centuries, until
Tourist stumbles across "interesting" pulpit, takes picture of it, and posts picture to his blog
Picture on blog sits idly by, largely unnoticed for 2 years
Blogger receives hate mail for daring to post the picture, then posts and ridicules letter (once a blogger, always a...)
Photo and a long-winded condemnation are printed in the front page of a radical Turkish newspaper
Death threats ensue, leading to
Inanimate object protected by police, who
Lay the blame for all of this outrage at the foot of our poor tourist.
While it's precious to observe the Belgian government taking steps to protect this historic church, it is genuinely disgusting to see Europe so hopelessly timid of actually confronting the root of the problem—a complete and utter inability to speak out and bring the long arm of the law against the destructive tendencies of the Religion of the Perpetually Offended.
One wonders if the website I found this morning in a search for Iraqi work has incriminated these artists who have posted there. The colorful work of these painters is certainly exquisite, if mildly derivative of past Western art movements, but then, the same can be said for most of the contemporary painting populating Western galleries. We however, must not neglect to record our disgust with these code-bound jihadists of every stripe who have crawled out of the rubble of American intervention to murder and oppress their own people, but this is what we are fighting, people, if not over there, then soon in a neighborhood near you. The only strategy left to even the most rigid of peacemakers is the strategy of total victory.
Because this is the jihadist strategy also.
IRAQI SINGERS, ACTORS, AND ARTISTS are fleeing the country after dozens have been killed by Islamic radicals determined to eradicate all culture associated with the West. Cinemas, art galleries, theatres, and concert halls are being destroyed in grenade and mortar attacks in Basra and Baghdad.
According to the Iraqi Artists' Association, at least 115 singers and 65 actors have been killed since the US-led invasion, as well as 60 painters. But the terror campaign has escalated in recent months as both Shia and Sunni extremists grow ever bolder in enforcing religious restrictions on the citizens of Iraq....
In November Seif Yehia, 23, was beheaded for singing western songs at weddings, and painter Ibraheem Sadoon was shot dead as he drove through Baghdad. In February Sunni fighters killed Waleed Dahi, 27, a young actor, while he rehearsed for a play due to open at the Jordanian National Theatre this month.
Those remaining are in hiding as they make preparations to get themselves and their families to safety.
Haydar Labbeb, 35, a painter in Baghdad, said he had received five death threats and an attempt was made on his life as he drove his family home from a wedding. He is now trying to get to Amman in Jordan, where he hopes to continue painting.
'My art is seen by extremists as too modern and offensive to Islamic beliefs,' he said. 'For them, every painting has to be based on Islamic culture. But I am a modern artist.
Culture was encouraged during Saddam Hussein's regime, but no longer. Abu Nur, an Islamic Army spokesman, said: 'Acting, theatre and television encourage bad behaviour and irreligious attitudes. They promote customs that affect the morality of our traditional society.'
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch reports on an encouraging email he received from an educated reader. It is as follows:
I am writing to tell you about a small success story in the struggle against Sharia. I am a law student at the University of Cincinnati. Last Thursday our school hosted a Sharia apologist from Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdulkareem Hamad A. Alsaiygh. He's Dean at the Center for Contemporary Islamic Studies and Dialogue among Civilizations, Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University.
The purported goal of his visit was to dispel myths that the West has about Islam and Sharia Law. Because of your written work and this website, a group of us were prepared to ask questions that cut through the typical obfuscating rhetoric of this Sharia apologist. Heading into the event, the vast majority of students in the audience were sympathetic and welcoming to the speaker and his ideas. By the end of the event, they were all rightly horrified.
Among other things, our questions forced Dr. Alsaiygh to admit the following:
1. That apostasy is rightly punishable by death under Islamic law and the law of Saudi Arabia. 2. That there will never be a Christian church in Saudi Arabia. 3. That a Christian church is considered a national security risk to Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states. 4. That stoning is appropriate punishment for adultery. 5. That most women raped in Saudi Arabia deserve some punishment for "putting themselves in that situation." 6. That "interfaith dialogue" could never include polytheistic religions. 7. That Christian evangelism in Saudi Arabia is a subversive act comparable to planning a terrorist attack in the US. 8. And that all these were "moderate" Islamic positions.
Of course, he attempted to take us on the obligatory guilt trip by blaming the West for radical Islam. But, by this point, he had lost the vast majority of the audience.